Apple Inc. (AAPL): Mixed Manager Moods – Is This Purgatory?

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has  been a very loyal stock play for quite a few fund managers over the years, especially many of the ones we track at Insider Monkey. Apple has been a choice stock for more than 150 fund managers going back quite a few years, and for many of those managers, Apple has been their top stock play in the millions of shares each. Sometimes, investors can get a glimpse into investing strategy by following the actions of these managers when they submit their 13F filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission. This document is a quarterly report by fund managers listing their long positions at the end of each quarter.

A Leading Company Cheaper Than 90% Of Blue Chips... And It Recently Bounced 12%If one were to look at a series of fund managers to see if there is an investing trend, you might find yourself a little confused when it comes to reading the tea leaves about Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), as three of the most prominent fund managers in the markets are taking different approaches to Apple stock. Let us start with perhaps the most noteworthy position by Julian Robertson of Tiger Management LLC.

Robertson reported in his 13F that was just posted to the SEC that he had no stock positions in Apple as of the end of March.

This means he dumped his final 42,125 shares that he held in the fourth quarter of 2012, which was in itself a 58-percent smaller share than he held in the quarter prior to that (more than 100,000 shares, which was his highest stock play at the end of September).

At the end of 2012, Apple made up about 4 percent of his overall portfolio and 14 percent at the end of September.

On the buy side of the ledger, however, is Ken Fisher of Fisher Asset Management, who increased his holding of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock by more than 50 percent, to more than 1.5 million shares after holding about 950,000 shares at the end of 2012. At the end of September, Apple was his 10th-largest holding at 962,000 shares, and that was nearly a 10-fold increase just from the previous quarter that ended in June.

However, joining Robertson on the bear side of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was Appaloosa Management manager David Tepper, who reported in his 13F filing that he had cut bait on nearly 250,000 Apple shares, lowering his stake by slightly more than 50 percent from a 486,000-share play at the end of 2012. While Apple is still one of his top holdings, it has dropped behind Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C).

At the end of September, Tepper owned about 520,000 shares, then upped his stake by 75 percent during the December period.

What are your thoughts about Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock, based on these varied responses by respected fund managers? Are you a buyer or a seller right now, and why? Give us your feedback in the comments section below.